By Stacy Dean, Deputy Under Secretary, Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services
School meals are foundational to the health and nutrition for millions of our nation’s children.
But, when school is out for the summer, children who count on free and reduced-price meals during the school year suddenly face the highest risk of hunger. When you combine this food insecurity with a pandemic recovery and rising food prices, it’s cause for real concern.
By providing families with EBT food benefits during the summer months, USDA is leveraging a successful, evidenced-based solution that reduces childhood hunger. A recent study found that summer EBT decreased the number of households with children who did not always have enough to eat by one-third. This type of support to families and communities is exactly what American families need right now.
It will take a collective effort to bridge the summer meal gap that exists for so many children. USDA is ready to give states the support they need to effectively and efficiently roll out EBT benefits for the summer.